National Seashell Day is celebrated every year on the first day of summer — on June 21. This day encourages you to head to your nearby beach and admire the beautiful shells left behind by creatures, typically snails and mollusks. There are so many different types of shells that you can find on beaches, all you have to do is look. However, make sure you only pick up empty shells and not ones with creatures still living inside them. If you do find such shells, it’s best to release them gently back into the ocean. Get ready to head to sandy beaches where seashells await you!
History of National Seashell Day
National Seashell Day was founded by Lee County Visitor & Convention Bureau on the first day of summer in 2016. This day was created as a marketing gimmick to attract tourists to celebrate the seashells found on the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel in Southwest Florida. National Seashell Day was first celebrated on Captiva Island with the morning TV news show called “Good Morning, America.”
Did you know Sanibel Island has earned the title of the Seashell Capital of the World, owing to its abundance of seashells? Every year, people flock to Captiva and Sanibel Islands to search for over 400 species of shells. The calm waves and location make these islands the top pick for people to look for beautiful seashells.
However, while shelling is allowed, it is illegal to collect live shells, which is any shell that still has an inhabitant. The shell serves as their home and it is cruel to disrupt their environment. This day is also celebrated to alleviate the issue of the illegal shell trade. In fact, shellers are also encouraged to keep their empty shell collection to a minimum.
National Seashell Day is an ideal opportunity to simply be grateful for the existence of the beautiful shells that are home to certain sea creatures.
National Seashell Day timeline
The earliest known seashells appear.
The Holman Seashell Collection starts with a beach walk at Satellite Beach, Florida.
Sanibel Island’s ban on the collection of any shells with mollusks still living inside them comes into effect.
The Guinness World Record is made for the largest human image of a seashell at Fort Myers beach.
National Seashell Day FAQs
Is it OK to collect seashells?
While it is okay to collect seashells to appreciate them or for a hobby, excessive removal of seashells from beaches can be damaging to the ecosystem in the long term.
Where is the best place to collect seashells?
Sanibel Island, Florida, Bandon, Oregon, Barricane Beach, Devon in England, and Galveston Island in Texas are some of the best places in the world for finding beautiful seashells.
What are the long shells on the beach?
Long shells found on the beach are called razor shells.
How To Celebrate National Seashell Day
National Seashell Day is the perfect opportunity to go to the beach and collect some empty shells. You can use them as showpieces to decorate your home or you can simply store them in a memorabilia box as your own little treasures.
Go on a beach vacation
When we hear seashells, we instantly think of the beach! How about a quick beach vacation? If you can’t head to the beaches of Fort Myers and Sanibel, you can visit a nearby beach resort for a weekend getaway. You’re sure to find seashells, regardless of where you are.
Show off your collection on social media
Already have an exquisite collection of seashells that you have collected over the years? You can celebrate National Seashell Day by showing them off on your social media sites and sharing your precious collection with a larger audience and educating them about the day.
5 Facts About Seashells That Will Blow Your Mind
They open to the right
Nine out of 10 shells are dextral and thus open to the right.
There are two distinct types of seashells, they’re either plain and smooth (think clamshells) or have spikes, ridges, and protrusions.
Patterns with a purpose
The elaborate colors and shapes on a seashell serve a purpose — for instance, mollusks use patterns to figure out where to put their mantles.
Mollusks have only one shell
Mollusks create only one shell that they inhabit for their entire lifetime by utilizing a variety of proteins and calcium carbonate.
There are around 200,000 mollusks across the globe and each one of them creates a unique type of shell.
Why We Love National Seashell Day
Seashells are pretty
Seashells can literally make your jaw drop with their beauty. They come in pretty shapes and colors that are aesthetically pleasing. It’s only fair that these little shells have a day dedicated to admiring them.
Seashells house live creatures
Seashells provide sea creatures with a home. They’re important to the survival of these creatures and thus should be celebrated in all their glory.
Seashells are lucky
According to feng shui, seashells come packed with luck! They’re also known to provide relief from stress and are a symbol of positivity and prosperity.
National Seashell Day dates